Gypsy's Travels

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Yikes! It's Ike!

Hurricanes are a way of life on the Texas Gulf Coast, but residents have been lulled into a false sense of security over the past decade. I feel as if I have lived through dozens of these storms, but the truth is that I could probably count the number on the fingers of both hands. The memorable ones have been bad enough to leave a sit-up-and-take-notice feeling that surfaces any time a tropical storm threatens our coastline. I have moved about three hours away from Houston, which lies inland from some more coastal cities but, as many will ascertain, the storms do not come to a screeching halt after crossing from Gulf waters on to the land.

I was visiting my son, d-in-law, and new grandson, last week when Hurricane Ike made his presence known. There is a window of time before a storm lets the world know where it has chosen to visit. I was hoping Ike would turn and show us his "clean" side as so many of the recent storms had. Capriciously, the hurricane flirted with the various options and finally raised enough concerns to warrant interventions by governmental powers. The evacuation of Galveston was mandated.

The main evacuation route from Galveston goes right through Houston and smart coastal dwellers hit the road early. There are always a few ninnies who think they are smarter and stronger than Mother Nature. The Galveston Mayor warned that EMS workers would not be allowed to risk their lives in rescuing the idiots who chose to stay behind, host "Hurricane Parties," then call for help when things got bad. There will be a few who will brag about surviving their bravado, some who will never be able to brag about anything ever again, and, hopefully, many who will have learned their lesson.

DS lives more inland in Houston, not within the 100 year flood plain, and in a soundly built house from the era of soundly built houses. My brother lives closer to the coast but still in a safer position than other coastal dwellers. He and his wife have his m-in-law and our mother living with them. They decided it would be best to evacuate both, aged 80 year plus, mothers. I was already in town so it was easy for me to take our mother to my home in Georgetown.

The decision to leave early from my visit with DS and family was far less taxing than the logistics of leaving. The roads were still crowded, supplies were scarce since the hurricane related runs on the stores. Bro-J braved the roads from his house to DS. Mother and I finally hit the hit road from Houston to GT about 6 p.m. I know most of the back roads from several years of intense travel over them so Mother and I made it to GT by 11:30 p.m. That was with 2 stops for food, fuel, and stretching our legs.

There were quite a few cars by the side of the road as we traveled along. Most appeared to have flat tires. We observed and met quite a few people fleeing from the storm. All were amiable and pleasant, tired and worried.

This account has been delayed because I had computer / internet problems. Family in Houston & Pasadena are safe and well. No one has electricity and DS said their neighborhood is planning and end-of-the-fridge potluck. Everything in the fridge will be taken out, cooked, and shared since a fridge only holds its cool for so long. Poor DS, I had to break the stockmarket news to him today. He has not had any access since the storm.
I don't understand the fuel price complaints. I buy diesel for my car and it is lower now than it has been for a while. There are 1,956 evacuees in shelters in Austin and almost every family I know is sheltering family or friends. The cleanup has begun.


  1. Well we surrivived. We live in the far NW part of Houston (Cypress). We lost power about 1:15 am Sat morning and had it restored arounf 7 pm on sunday. We had bought a generator on Sunday morning….guess that is why the power came back so fast (spend a large amt of $ on something to guarnetee you won’t need it for very long). From what I understand when we got power we were in the minority. That less than 30% had power at that time. Sometimes the minority is good! Husband is a ER nurse, so he worked the entire storm and I weathered it w/ the boys at home. No trees down for us….some neighbors not so lucky. Well my part of town got off easy, so now I sit at home with extra days off from work waiting for them to tell me the bld has power and to come back to work. I feel a little guilty sitting at home in the a/c and getting paid. I’ll find some way to get past that.

    Krista (Wilson) Johnson

    *My folks got power back this morning!!! And no trees on thise house.

  2. There are a million stories in the big city. Thank you for sharing yours!Glad all is o.k. and I wouldn't worry too much about the unexpected time off, I am sure they will extract it from you somehow.....
    Anyone else?

  3. There are a million stories in the big city. Thank you for sharing yours!Glad all is o.k. and I wouldn't worry too much about the unexpected time off, I am sure they will extract it from you somehow.....
    Anyone else?

  4. Ike played around a while and didn't make his target known till quite late. We were on vacation on Bolivar Peninsula just a few days before he hit, and he made the peninsula a wasteland. The conditions in Houston were terrible; I'm glad you got your mother out ahead of time and hope your family doesn't have a lot of property damage. The big potluck dinner was a great idea!


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